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LDLT: SCS Guidelines

SCS Procedures for Evaluation of Proposals and Submissions

to the Library of Digital Latin Texts (LDLT)

Editions of classical Latin texts in LDLT will appear under the aegis of the SCS, after review and approval in accordance with the following guidelines. It is to be noted that editions of medieval Latin texts will be reviewed by the Medieval Academy of America and those of Renaissance Latin texts by the Renaissance Society of America, each in accordance with its own policies and procedures.

1. Editorial Board and Editorial Board Chair

The SCS Committee on Publications and Research will serve as the editorial board for this series. Initially the VP will serve as the chair of the editorial board for the purposes of LDLT editions. If the proposals become numerous or the SCS reinstitutes other publication series (print or digital), it may be appropriate to recruit an appointed series editor (for a 4- or 5-year term, as formerly), possibly an editor that serves this series along with another, and that editor will then take the role of chair of the editorial board. At a future date the Division may also decide to create a dedicated editorial board for LDLT editions.

2. Preproposal

Scholars contemplating working on an edition for this venue will find ample information and guidelines at the LDLT web site and are invited to direct any additional preliminary questions to the chair of the editorial board (currently the VP, Donald Mastronarde, or to the technical director (currently Sam Huskey). Whether there are any other questions or not, the potential editor should query the chair of the editorial board as to whether the proposed text is already in development by someone else. If it is not in development, they should indicate their intent to submit a proposal so that there will be a record of potential submissions.

Potential editors may have only one project in the pipeline at a time. If a proposal is not received within one year  of notification of the editor’s intention to submit, the “reservation” of this text will lapse unless (1) the editor informs the editorial board of ongoing work and indicates a reasonable timetable for submitting the proposal, and (2) the board acknowledges continuation of the “reservation” until a new deadline.

3. Proposal

A. Editors should submit, by email to the chair of the editorial board, a proposal including the following items:

  1. Author and title of the text to be edited.
  2. Brief survey of existing editions.
  3. Justification of a new edition, explaining how it will improve upon earlier editions.
  4. Discussion of the editor’s qualifications.
  5. Description of the work completed to date.
  6. Plan for implementing features of the LDLT’s encoding guidelines.
  7. Sample of the encoded text.

Item #6 should address whether or not the edition will include a textual commentary, apparatus fontium et testium, tags for analysis, and/or any of the advanced semantic encoding techniques mentioned in the guidelines.

B. The editorial board will review the proposal and determine whether or not to give it provisional acceptance. If they decide to pursue the project, they will inform the author of the proposal and the director of the DLL that the project should proceed to the next stage. Approval at this stage does not guarantee publication. Rather, approval means that the proposed project meets the standards of the SCS and is deemed worth pursuing.

4. Development

The editor will interact with Digital Latin Library (DLL) staff during development to do the following:

  1. Set up a repository for version control and storage of the edition’s files and data.
  2. Set up a Zotero collection for bibliography related to the edition.
  3. Establish a plan for representing the edition’s data according to the LDLT guidelines.

During development, a number of mechanisms will be in place to encourage compliance with the LDLT’s encoding guidelines. The schema for LDLT texts will provide warnings when the XML is not valid and well formed. Instructions will also be available to enable an editor to prepare material in plain text files and spreadsheets so that much of the edition can be encoded automatically by scripts prepared by the DLL. The editor will also have access to a testing version of the DLL’s “reading room” viewer to verify that the data is behaving as expected. DLL staff will also be available for consultation.

5. Interim Working Edition (optional and experimental)

In some cases an editor may wish to make an interim version of the edition openly available on the DLL site before the entire scope of the planned work is completed and a final draft approved. In this case, the editor should address a letter to the editorial board chair and the technical director of the DLL detailing why open access to the current interim version is beneficial to users and to the editor, and explaining precisely which details of the edition have been implemented and which remain to be done. The editorial board will assess what form of evaluation is appropriate in order for the request to be approved. Only one interim edition per project is expected. That is, if hosting an interim version is approved, that version (and minor revisions involving typographical corrections only) will be the only one shared publicly until, after submission and review of the final draft, the actual LDLT edition is released.

6. Submission of Final Draft

A. When the final draft of the edition has been completed, the editor will send the following materials to the editorial board:

  1. A description of the project
  2. A letter from the technical director of the DLL certifying that the edition adheres to the LDLT encoding guidelines.
  3. Directions for access to the edition on the DLL’s testing site, the Zotero bibliography, and the repository for the edition’s files and data.

B. The editorial board will select two expert referees to assess these materials and to write reports. A qualified member of the editorial board may serve as one of the referees. The SCS will pay an honorarium for each referee’s report. The current honorarium for a review of a full-length book is $300.

C. The editorial board will review the referees’ reports and, after discussion, formulate the appropriate response. Generally, the possibilities will be:

  1. accept unconditionally (the author may of course make minor revisions in response to any suggestions of the referees or the editorial board).
  2. accept with the expectation that the author will revise in the light of specific suggestions made by the referees or the editorial board, with the chair of the editorial board being charged to verify that the author’s final version takes account of the suggestions.
  3. ask the author to revise and resubmit, with the resubmission to be evaluated by one or two referees (not necessarily the same as used previously), who will be provided copies of the previous reports and response. The choice between one or two referees will be at the discretion of the editorial board, and use of the same referee(s) will be at the discretion of the board and subject to the availability and willingness of the referee.
  4. If the edition does not meet the expectations of the reviewers, it may be rejected, in which case all materials revert to the editor, who may choose to pursue publication elsewhere.

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